Caroling, Caroling, Christmas Bells are Ringing: MPSH’s Orchestra Caroling Tradition

Nicole Martin, Senior Copy Editor

Every holiday season, on Dec.15, Miami Palmetto Senior High’s Advanced and Intermediate Orchestra spread holiday cheer through the gift of music by caroling and playing classic holiday tunes and pieces around the MPSHs hallways. The orchestra plays a total of five pieces based on Christmas and holiday radio classics, including: “Silent Night,” “We Wish you a Merry Christmas,” “Hanukkah Song” and “Deck the Halls.”

The tradition has been on pause for the past two years, due to COVID-19, creating a different experience for Orchestra. However, this is the first time in two years that the tradition is back to pre-pandemic years.

“Because of COVID [the], experience was really rough. Ms.Lin created a backing track so all of us would be able to follow along. It was a different experience for us, and personally, not very fun,” MPSH Advanced Orchestra cellist and senior Ysabela Fernandez said.

Since the musical pieces must be played on the spot around different areas of the school, the musicians take their time to practice and prepare a month prior to ensure they are show ready. This preparation includes the use of multiple weekly playing tests and rehearsals.

As per MPSH and Orchestra tradition, before playing, Orchestra will send two “runners,” who will run with sleigh bells to the designated area, as a sign that the orchestra is about to spread some holiday spirit through beautiful melodies of the season. The orchestra moved and played in various corners of the school, including the main office, the hallways of the 1000s building, the 3000s building, the media center, the 5000s building, the art wing and the band room, where they played for both the symphonic band and drama department.

Violinist and junior Daniella Martinez identified “Hanukkah Song” as her favorite out of the pieces she plays.

“My favorite melody has to be Hannukah. Even though I am not Jewish, it is honestly so fun to play since it is very fast-paced and easy to memorize. This song is definitely different from the rest since it is not a Christmas song, but it is cool to transition to these soft Christmas songs into this song that is more rough sounding and fast-paced, and a lot of people love it as well,” Martinez said.

Similarly, Fernandez loves playing “Hanukkah Song” due to the vibrance and melodic tones of the piece itself

“My personal favorite melody to play is the Hanukkah Song. Although I do not celebrate the wonderful holiday, I appreciate the boldness and vibrant feel of the piece. Also, the cellos have the melody,” Fernandez said.